Can a volunteer receive the same award more than once? No, a volunteer cannot receive the same award more than once. Check list of historical awards prior to nominating.
Is it hard to get an award approved by the Council Recognition Panel? The Council Recognition Panel is committed to recognizing deserving individuals. Occasionally the panel will suggest a different award, or stronger documentation of exceptional service. The panel approves almost all nominations.
Should I wait until spring to nominate people? No, please do not wait. Submitting earlier in the year ensures that there is enough time to process the nomination prior to the date when it should be presented. Nominations may be submitted starting October 1. Nominations for awards to be presented at the Annual Meeting must be submitted no later than February 14. If you wait until spring to nominate someone, the award may not be approved until after the school year ends – and you will miss the opportunity to present the award at your end-of-year events.
What do I need to know to nominate someone for an award? You will need to know the nominee’s name, what specific role you want to recognize with this award (i.e. troop leader, SU manager, Gold Award panel member, etc) and the name and email of the 2-4 people who have agreed to submit an endorsement of the nomination. If you are submitting a longevity, you do not need endorsers, but you must know the number of youth and adult years of Girl Scout membership.
What questions will I be asked if I agree to endorse a nomination? The questions will vary slightly depending on which award has been selected, but here are the basic questions:
- What has the nominee done to deserve this award?
- Give some specific examples of how the nominee has empowered Girl Scouts and/or adult volunteers to take on a leadership role, expand their horizons or make a difference in the community.
- Indicate if the nominee had a specific impact on a troop, a group of troops, a service unit, two or more service units, an association, two or more associations, or on Girl Scouts and/or adults throughout our council. If possible, include your best guess of the number of Girl Scouts/families/adult volunteers that were impacted.
- Tell us a personal story about something the nominee did that impressed you.
- What is your best guess as to the length of time the nominee has spent in this service?
How do you get the approved awards? The council level awards are provided by the council at no charge and are generally mailed to the award sponsor for an appropriate local presentation if they are not presented at the annual meeting. When local awards (Outstanding Leader, Jan Verhage Spirit of Leadership, Volunteer of Excellence, longevity 5-25) are approved by the Association Recognitions Committee, someone is designated to purchase the award from the Girl Scout Shop with a “Authorization to Purchase” form signed by the Association Recognitions Chair. The local awards are normally paid for by the SU – so it is important to account for this in your annual SU budget!
Where are awards presented? The most important consideration is that the presentation is meaningful to the recipient. Local awards (Outstanding Leader, Jan Verhage Spirit of Leadership, Volunteer of Excellence, and longevity 5-25) and the Appreciation Pin are presented at a local event – such as an association or SU appreciation celebration, an encampment, a SU meeting, or other appropriate event. Honor Pin and Nation’s Capital Pin can be presented at the council recognition event (annual meeting) or a local event. It is recommended that the Thanks Badge and Thanks Badge II be presented at the annual meeting because of the council-wide nature of this award, but in some cases, giving them at the association or service unit level may be appropriate. Because of the significance and unique council-wide impact the Capital Award and Knox Award, they must be presented at the annual meeting except in extraordinary circumstances.
Girl Scout volunteers in my area do not want to be recognized because they “do it for the girls”. Should I still nominate them? While volunteers do not serve with the expectation of receiving an award, they do appreciate appropriate recognition showing that their efforts are valued. When due recognition in the form of “official” awards or simple expressions of gratitude are given, Girl Scouts benefit from seeing “their” adults receive public approval from peers, and newer volunteers view fellow workers as respected role models.
Can I nominate myself for an award? You cannot nominate yourself for a service award. However, you may nominate yourself for a longevity pin – which recognizes your years of Girl Scout membership.
Is it good for my SU to keep a “schedule” of recognitions that active volunteers have received so that the “next” pin can be awarded when the required number of years are up? While keeping accurate and current records is a very good idea, awarding recognition should not be a “check-off” process. Simply serving in one or more positions for the prescribed number of years or even longer does not automatically warrant an award. Service must always be extraordinary, exceptional and above and beyond the expectations of the position held.
Are awards ranked and given “in order”? No, there is no hierarchy of awards, and awards may be requested in whatever order fits the focus and impact of a person’s service over a period of time. For example, a Thanks Badge recipient could receive an Honor Pin, or Outstanding Leader, or other official award later in his/her volunteer life.
Can awards be given posthumously? No, awards cannot be given posthumously.